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#1 mmk

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:07 AM

I need a new career.  My job pays extremely well and is very flexible but it has also sent me crazy.   I drink too much, take too much medication, and I am still nuts.  My GP would love to see me leave, as would the psych.  The only thing keeping me there is the money and the lifestyle that it means that we have as a family.  As the psych said the other day though, I can't keep it up for the next 30 years.  The place is just way too toxic...

I decided at 34 that I would like to be a chiropractor, however there is too much contact time and it's just not possible for me to take that much time off work.  I would've enjoyed the study though, and the fact that I'd be helping people and every person is a different 'case'.

The psych suggested pharmacy, because I have an extremely over active mind.  I can be talking to someone while reading something and thinking about something else, all effectively.  I never studied and got HD's in the year I went to uni (accounting - way too boring for me).  I'm not actually qualified to do anything though with a bit of paper, other than a cert 3 I will never use and a diploma of accounting that I would prefer to never use.  

Pharmacy does appeal to me because of the drug interactions and the study etc, plus the opportunity to move rural but still get well paid.  My husband also works here, but he manages to cope with just medication.  It's bad.  If I had another job and we could move then he could get a normal job and we could live a simple life but still have our toys.  It's not an option for him to study, but he could get a job anywhere (mechanic).

Any suggestions for a job I could study for online with minimal contact hours that pays well that would suit someone with a very over active mind?  I've had a look at one of those 'what job should I do?' questionnaires but they list soooooooo many jobs.  Of which chiro and pharmacist were two.  I'd also love to be a teacher but couldn't take the pay cut unfortunately...  


#2 SplashingRainbows

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

When I was considering changing careers I did a series of 1:1 meeting with a career counsellor (private, not govt funded).

It involved a lot of scientific tests to determine my strengths, weaknesses and aptitude. It was extremely helpful. I think you'd have to make sure it was a qualified counsellor with access to high quality resources but I highly recmend the process.

#3 Fossy

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:20 AM

How much are we talking $$$?
My friend is a pharmacist in a small town, he works shift work, including nights until 10.30, his day shifts start at 0630, and weekends.  Have you thought about that aspect of pharmacy?  He earns good money, but not outrageous by any means.

#4 mmk

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE (Fossy @ 02/12/2012, 11:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How much are we talking $$$?
My friend is a pharmacist in a small town, he works shift work, including nights until 10.30, his day shifts start at 0630, and weekends.  Have you thought about that aspect of pharmacy?  He earns good money, but not outrageous by any means.

60k for 119 days (worked it out the other day for tax), so roughly 2 days a week.  It's shift work, but it's only 8 hour shifts.  I would be expecting 90k for 50ish hours, which would be enough if we were in a rural town and not got the mortgage we've got now.  I used to work up to 70 hours in an old job so if I was getting 120k then DH wouldn't need to work living rural.  Am I in the ball park?

#5 beaglebaby

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:41 AM

Studying pharmacy is a huge commitment, you don't only have the years of study (and it is full on study) you also have to do 2000 practical hours while you study.  Part time I think you'd be looking at at least 6 years.  Once you're out the pay isn't actually that great either.  I was looking at doing it as a postgrad, even then I wasn't sure I'd ever pay off the uni fees!

Perhaps dispensary assistant would be a good stepping stone/trial - you don't need a uni degree just a certificate and then you could work out if you really want to put all that time into studying.

#6 MinkyMonkey

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

QUOTE (beaglebaby @ 02/12/2012, 10:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Studying pharmacy is a huge commitment, you don't only have the years of study (and it is full on study) you also have to do 2000 practical hours while you study.  Part time I think you'd be looking at at least 6 years.  Once you're out the pay isn't actually that great either.  I was looking at doing it as a postgrad, even then I wasn't sure I'd ever pay off the uni fees!

Perhaps dispensary assistant would be a good stepping stone/trial - you don't need a uni degree just a certificate and then you could work out if you really want to put all that time into studying.



I have spent 10 years working in (retail) pharmacy and it really doesn't pay as well as you think. The massive over supply (after decades of under supply) of qualified BPharms has drastically changed the rates of pay. I have many close friends who are Pharmacists and the ones that started out for the money have branched off to something else and just locum for the extra cash.

The degree is not a walk in the park either - four years FT with lots of contact hours/ unpaid experience + a year very poorly paid as a pre-reg.

Edited by MinkyMonkey, 02 December 2012 - 10:52 AM.


#7 little lion

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:07 AM

I have some questions to help your decision making ...
Do you want a profession or a more broad career path? A lot of online degrees lead to more general jobs, not professions as such where you need registration etc.
What is it you find stressful about your current job?
Have you looked into other health options? Dentistry?


#8 lizzzard

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

I've always believed that instead of looking for the lifestyle aspects of a career, it's better to think of what you're really interested in content wise...in my experience even a small number of hours and lots of pay don't make up for a job I hate (and conversely, I'll be happy working long hours for less pay if I really like the job itself). You've described a pretty wide array of careers in your post...what are you doing now (content wise), and do you enjoy it - aside from the lifestyle?

#9 jewel2

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:38 AM

University of New England does a Pharmacy degree that is the only one in Australia you can do distance learning.
You can also do it part time or on-campus.

So this may fit in with your plans.  My son does the course and its very good.

We live in a large rural coastal town and it is always looking for pharmacists. So depends on what areas you live in regarding job prospects.

J

#10 Froger

Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

No matter what you study, as a new graduate you are not going to be paid much (comparatively speaking). So I'm guessing, based on your OP, that you'd be taking a fair pay cut in any case, at least to begin with. Are you prepared for a couple of years on graduate pay?

#11 Fossy

Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

My friend averages 65 hours per week, in rural often there is only one pharmacist so they work more. He usually does 6 days a week, often split shifts.  He makes just over $100k.  He said starting out you'd earn around $50k and have to work just as many hours.  I'm assuming this varies a bit state to state though.

Good luck op

#12 little lion

Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

In south east Queensland there's an oversupply of pharmacists now since more uni places were created a few years back.

#13 mmk

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE (beaglebaby @ 02/12/2012, 11:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps dispensary assistant would be a good stepping stone/trial - you don't need a uni degree just a certificate and then you could work out if you really want to put all that time into studying.

Good suggestion, but I've just had a baby so I have the perfect opportunity to get a degree of some sort and a proper job.  Work have to provide me with a suitable roster until she goes to school, so I can have 3 days a week off that is supposedly to spend with the baby but I'm really spending it studying online preparing to leave there.  I really want to make the most of it so I can get out.  I will still get to spend plenty of time with her because of the shift work and I will also get other days off, so it will be hard work to fit it all in but I have a good husband that will help out.  Especially if it means that he too will get out of there at the end of it all  tongue.gif

QUOTE (little lion @ 02/12/2012, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have some questions to help your decision making ...
Do you want a profession or a more broad career path? A lot of online degrees lead to more general jobs, not professions as such where you need registration etc.
What is it you find stressful about your current job?
Have you looked into other health options? Dentistry?

I want a proper job, which I guess would be more a profession.  Though if I become a pharmacist I would consider then looking at what it would take to study further (whilst working) to qualify as a doctor or an anaesthetist or something related.  I could attend limited tutes or something if they were on specific days that I could organise to have as my days off, so some contact time is ok, but less is better because then it's more flexible.

There is nothing stressful about the current job, it's just the morons that I work with.  They are feral pigs and have slowly sent me nuts...  sad.gif

I'd consider something else, but I don't know what else???  Dentistry would be ok, but I think there's only Bendigo and Melbourne, and it's not something that I'd be able to do while I was still working.  That's the only catch - I still need to be able to work because we have financial commitments over the next few years that we can't cover on DH's wage alone unless we live extremely frugally, and even then I don't know if we could...

QUOTE (lizzzard @ 02/12/2012, 12:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've always believed that instead of looking for the lifestyle aspects of a career, it's better to think of what you're really interested in content wise...in my experience even a small number of hours and lots of pay don't make up for a job I hate (and conversely, I'll be happy working long hours for less pay if I really like the job itself). You've described a pretty wide array of careers in your post...what are you doing now (content wise), and do you enjoy it - aside from the lifestyle?


The only thing that I like about my job is the money and the lifestyle that the flexibility and the money give us.   The job itself is boring, I HATE numerous people there to the point that I fantasise about thumping them  blush.gif  I get no job satisfaction at all.  I have nothing positive to say about the place at all, except that it pays well and we will both be at DS's first day of school without having to argue about getting a day off because we're just another number and we won't be missed if we're not there.  I'd love a job where I could use my brain and actually help people and feel like I've achieved something at the end of the day.  I'd love to be a chiro (not possible because of the contact hours) or a doctor etc.  If I become  a pharmacist or something similar then there is always the possibility to work weekends and study further to become one of those things, or to just move to the country where the kids can  play like kids should be able to play...

QUOTE (jewel2 @ 02/12/2012, 12:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
University of New England does a Pharmacy degree that is the only one in Australia you can do distance learning.
You can also do it part time or on-campus.

So this may fit in with your plans.  My son does the course and its very good.

We live in a large rural coastal town and it is always looking for pharmacists. So depends on what areas you live in regarding job prospects.

J

That was the only course that I'd managed to find that did it online and I'd spent a fair bit of time looking, so it's good to know that I hadn't missed something!  Thank you!  This was actually the plan unless someone could come up with something better  wink.gif   I'm glad he's happy with it - I did another online course for accounting diploma and I wouldn't be recommending them to anyone, so it's good to know that this course is actually good.

We'd be open to moving anywhere.  DH is a mechanic and into motorbikes, so he'd be able to get a job anywhere.  We'd find me a job and then find him something when we got there...

QUOTE (SarahM72 @ 02/12/2012, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No matter what you study, as a new graduate you are not going to be paid much (comparatively speaking). So I'm guessing, based on your OP, that you'd be taking a fair pay cut in any case, at least to begin with. Are you prepared for a couple of years on graduate pay?


We managed to live ok with me getting 60k, so it would just mean one less toy for DH if I only get 50k tongue.gif  I'd qualify, then get a job here for crappy money so DH could stay working at the sh*thole until a good job came up and we could afford to move elsewhere.  But yes, money's not everything when you're taking antidepressants and valium just to get to work, hating every minute of it, then coming home drinking...  I'd rather cut out a few things for a few years rather than live with another 30 years of hell...

QUOTE (Fossy @ 02/12/2012, 01:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My friend averages 65 hours per week, in rural often there is only one pharmacist so they work more. He usually does 6 days a week, often split shifts.  He makes just over $100k.  He said starting out you'd earn around $50k and have to work just as many hours.  I'm assuming this varies a bit state to state though.

Good luck op


Thanks.  I'd be happy with that money, and I wouldn't expect to walk into it straight out of uni.  It's sounding pretty doable right about now.  I'll make a phone call tomorrow after work I think to see if I'm too late for next year...

QUOTE (little lion @ 02/12/2012, 04:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In south east Queensland there's an oversupply of pharmacists now since more uni places were created a few years back.


That's where we'd love to go if we could shift up there with our current job!  My SIL lives in Buderim and we just got back from there and it's just so relaxing up there compared to Melbourne...  We're not fussy though.  Country Victoria would do us too.  Actually, country anywhere would be ok, which I guess would be the beauty of having a qualification that's as portable as a pharmacist.  We're very limited with where we can work with what we do now, but that would open up the entire country because then DH could go back to his trade or something related.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.  The one thing I never thought to do is a Seek search, so I might do that quickly before I head off to bed - just to see what's around!

#14 busy_bee

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:27 PM

"I would consider then looking at what it would take to study further (whilst working) to qualify as a doctor or an anaesthetist or something related. I could attend limited tutes or something if they were on specific days that I could organise to have as my days off, so some contact time is ok, but less is better because then it's more flexible."



Medicine degree - 4 years minimum post grad.
+ intern year (forget flexibility)
+ residency year (again good luck with flexibility)
Then attempt to get into an anaesthetics training program - competitive - so count out flexibility
Anaesthetics training program - 5 years minimum
Primary exams and fellowship exams - be prepared to devote a year of your life after work to these

Not trying to sound mean or be difficult - but that career idea is another 11+ years of work to get to the end. And if flexibility and lifestyle is what you value, then this might not be the best 11 years of your life getting your anaesthetics ticket

#15 mmk

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:35 PM

QUOTE (busy_bee @ 02/12/2012, 09:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not trying to sound mean or be difficult - but that career idea is another 11+ years of work to get to the end. And if flexibility and lifestyle is what you value, then this might not be the best 11 years of your life getting your anaesthetics ticket

Lol.  So that is why they get paid 3k a week!  laugh.gif

I need the flexibility to get out of my current workplace, then I was thinking that I'd be able to work while I was studying something else.  But 11 years is like forever.  So no meaness or difficultness taken - thank you for pointing out what was not so obvious to me!  blush.gif  

I checked out Seek.  There's heaps there.  80+k, plus quite a few that were encouraging for new graduates (ie wanting cheap labour).  So a pharmacist I shall be!

Thank you  biggrin.gif

#16 ekbaby

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

I'm interested in what your current job is?  laugh.gif

The pay and flexibility sound great... what's the catch? Obviously there must be a big one, as it sounds like you are very unhappy there.

#17 CallMeFeral

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

Can you find another similar job in your area, without the idiots?

TBH I'm a little bit at where you are. I have a job I don't enjoy but can't leave due to the flexibility and pay - and it's part time and I won't get that again. But it's draining my soul.

I don't know what to aim for.

#18 Guest_Wyn99_*

Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:59 PM

The UNE Pharmacy degree, while offered online, does require you to go on-campus for 'res schools' - about 3 days per trimester. So you'll need to factor in travel & accomm for this over your degree.

#19 Penguin78

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:25 AM

If you are happy with $50k, then why not do teaching? New grads in NSW start on $50k.

If you want to earn more later, you could always do a Masters then go.for AP.or.Principal positions. Especially if you are happy to go rural, your.options are pretty wide.

#20 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:34 AM

Out of curiosity, and rather off topic (sorry OP!), how much study does a GP need to do?
I'm guessing the 4 year medicine degree - after another degree, right?
But there is no residency or specialist study?  I have no idea and I'm really interested.

#21 jmaz86

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:39 AM

Good Luck OP with your new career and study.

I have recently (well 2 years ago) decided to have a career change, I went from being a real estate agent (earning pretty decent money) to full time study to become a registered nurse. I know that I will most prob have the vast earning capacity in my new role as I did in real estate, but to me money doesnt matter. I am not doing nursing as a job to earn money, I am doing it as a profession that I enjoy and am passionate about, the weekly wage is only there so i can eat, sleep and pay utilities.

My advice is if you can afford to live comfortably while studying and on new grad wages, and its something that you are passionate about then go for it...

#22 melaine

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:51 AM

QUOTE (Dinah_Harris @ 03/12/2012, 07:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Out of curiosity, and rather off topic (sorry OP!), how much study does a GP need to do?
I'm guessing the 4 year medicine degree - after another degree, right?
But there is no residency or specialist study?  I have no idea and I'm really interested.


You do your intern year in hospital then 3-5 years further fulltime work (hospital and general practice based) before sitting exams.

#23 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:13 AM

QUOTE (Penguin78 @ 03/12/2012, 07:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you are happy with $50k, then why not do teaching? New grads in NSW start on $50k.

If you want to earn more later, you could always do a Masters then go.for AP.or.Principal positions. Especially if you are happy to go rural, your.options are pretty wide.


I agree actually, but only if you think teaching is for you, otherwise you just end up in another job that you hate. I've also found that different schools affect my enjoyment of my job.

FYI, I'm in my fourth year of teaching and am just on 6 figure. I'll be dropping back a little next year with a new job that is rural, but it will keep increasing until I am back on par (new job will increase with more experience.)

Though, it's not an easy job and you have to enjoy it, otherwise it just becomes another soul swallowing job.

I gave up a better paid career for teaching. In some jobs I've regretted it, and in some I haven't. Hopefully my new job is the latter.

Though it sounds as though you've decided on pharmacy, good luck, I hope you are more luck than the stories of some of the PPs.

#24 berrysparkles

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:19 AM

Hi OP,

I think you need to think this through a bit more.

Do you have any experience working in pharmacy? Do you know what the job is really like?

Maybe you should do some work experience in a pharmacy or something so you get a feel for what the job entails.

It's not as glorified as you might think - retail pharmacy can be monotonous and stressful too!
Although it is definitely fast paced and you need to be able to multi task so you are ok in that department.

I think teaching would have a similar pay?



#25 ekbaby

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:36 AM

QUOTE
FYI, I'm in my fourth year of teaching and am just on 6 figure.


OT but PussyDids that sounds amazing, what state are you in and what sector ? (private, public)

My DP is a NSW teacher with 10 yrs experience and still a fair way off $100K- and salary will not increase any more unless she moves into exec/HT positions. Are you a head teacher?




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